Remedies for Itchy Pet Paws

May 11, 2022

Dogs have all sorts of silly and odd behaviors that provide their owners with plenty of fun and laughs. From chasing their tales to playing fetch, dogs do so many things that can be both entertaining and engaging. When it comes to weird habits your pups might have, there are actually a few things they do that might indicate something wrong with them. One of the common signs your dog isn't feeling its best is excessive paw licking. Below, we’ll go over what causes a dog’s itchy paws and some dog itching remedies to help your pup stop licking and start feeling better.

Why Is My Dog Licking His Paws?

Occasional paw licking is completely normal for dogs, especially when they come back inside from playing outdoors. Excessive licking isn’t normal and can indicate one of the following things:

1. Pododermatitis

Pododermatitis is a dog paw infection that results from fungus or bacteria and can cause your dog’s paws to itch. In addition to your pup licking its paws, you’ll also notice red, swollen pads, fluid buildup, and discharge in the paws.

2. An Injury

There’s a chance your pup got stung by a bee or stepped on a thorn or piece of glass. Or maybe it has a cut, a torn nail, or something stuck in its paw. Gently and carefully inspect the paws to see if there’s an injury.

3. Allergies

Allergies are a big culprit for your dog’s itchy paws. Just like people, dogs can be allergic to certain foods, medications, pollen, dander, plants, bugs, or pesticides. When the skin reacts, it becomes inflamed, itchy, and swollen, leading to itchy paws. Food allergies are harder to determine, and your vet might recommend changing the dog’s diet, doing an elimination diet to determine what it’s allergic to, or doing skin allergy testing.

4. Flea Allergy Dermatitis

The most common skin disease in dogs is from parasites, specifically fleas. It’s called Flea Allergy Dermatitis, and it’s an inflammatory response to an enzyme that fleas secrete when they bite, causing your dog’s paws to get itchy.

5. Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic Dermatitis is a skin disease in dogs caused by extreme allergies and is the second most common skin disease following Flea Allergy Dermatitis.

6. Pain

Sometimes when dogs are experiencing pain — even somewhere other than in their paws — they’ll lick their paws to try to self soothe and alleviate the pain. Sometimes, arthritis or an injury can be the culprit.

Dog Itching Remedies

Some of the best natural treatments for a dog’s itchy paws are:

Colloidal oatmeal baths

Yep, it’s the same stuff you used as a kid if you had chickenpox! Colloidal oatmeal reduces inflammation and soothes irritated skin. It also washes away any irritants on their skin, and it’s completely non-toxic if they end up sneaking a sip out of the bathwater.

Apple cider vinegar

ACV is a powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal treatment. Mix 50% water and 50% ACV, and spray your pups’ paws. You can also create a bath for them to soak their paws in, too. Be mindful not to use it on open wounds or raw skin because it can be extremely painful and cause their symptoms to worsen.

Coconut oil

Organic unrefined virgin coconut oil that’s been chilled will soothe your dogs’ paws, and it also feels amazing when you rub it in for your pup. You can also add a spoonful to their food to promote a healthy coat.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a strong healing agent. It’s cooling and soothing, and it draws heat away from your dog’s itchy paws. If you buy aloe from the store, make sure it’s 100% aloe and doesn’t contain alcohol, or it might sting their little feet.

Baking soda

Baking soda paste dries out rashes, alleviates itching, and reduces inflammation. To make the paste, mix 50% baking soda with 50% water and apply the paste to their paws. Leave it on for at least 20 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. You can also add coconut oil to the mix to add some moisture to the paste.These remedies are all great ways to soothe your dogs’ irritated paws and help relieve their itching. If your dog is experiencing extremely itchy paws, don’t be afraid to try one of these dog itching remedies or call your vet. If you want to learn more about why your dog is licking its paws or schedule an appointment, contact us today!

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